Jobs being cut? Houses not selling? Everyone talking about the poor sales of everything from cars to bouquets of flowers? That's a recession, a time of economic decline.
Recession comes from the Latin word recessus, meaning "a going back, retreat." Think of all the things that get made and sold in a country. When fewer people buy things, orders for them slow down. The sales "go back" to a lower amount. This is an economic recession. This noun can also describe other kinds of "going back," like the recession of floodwaters that enable people to begin cleaning up their homes that had been filled with water.